To discover the area, I planned a trip along the Rhine. Starting from Mannheim, I went on one side of the Rhine towards the direction of Koblenz. I was very impressed by this excursion. The Rhine valley is very beautiful. I was very lucky to have planned this trip during one of the hotter weekends in Mannheim. As I was along the Rhine the temperature was not so bad and I was happy to see some water. I took my time and followed the Rhine to Koblenz. All the cities along the Rhine were amazing. You can see that there are a lot of castles and tourists who, like me are very interested in the Middle Ages and culture.
As we have a lot of castles in France, I was very interested to discover the ones in Germany. I was wondering if they are different, prettier or not. I had the opportunity to visit most of the castles in France, I could not leave Germany without traveling across the Rhine to discover them. To be honest, I did not observe a lot of differences between the German castles and the French ones. They are both very similar. French ones are probably a bit more oriented on the defence, with a lot of towers and more place to put the army to defend the King.
But not only there is old constructions and castles around the Rhine, there is also the Loreley. This Modern Mermaid is very famous in Baden-Württemberg. This creature was very dangerous for boats which were traveling on the Rhine. Because of her, the area was well known, along with the Binger Loch, as the most dangerous section of the Rhine. Many mariners in their wooden dinghies came to tragedy here.
The first time someone talk about her was around the 1800. The poet Clemens Brentano wrote a romantic ballad about her (link in german). In this ballad, Loreley is a beauty from Bacharach who wants to take her own life because her true love is unfaithful. The bishop, fascinated by her loveliness and humility, takes her to a convent. On route to the convent, she stops at the cliff to look back on the palace of her true love. When she sees him riding away, she throws herself in despair into the turbulent waters below (Source: Loreley-info.com). The area is full of rocks and the Mermaid was supposed to be the one who distracting all the mariners to crash the boat. Nowadays people do not fear the Mermaid (thanks to technology and navigation-tools) and pass the Rhine without any problem.